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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

Kansas territorial census, 1855. District 17

Johnson, Alex S.

This census was taken in order to determine eligible voters for elections to be held as proclaimed by Governor Andrew Reeder on November 10, 1854. The categories for information in the census were name, occupation, age, male, female, emigrated from, native of United States, naturalized citizen, declarant (intention to become a citizen), Negro, slave, and voter. Only white males over 21 were eligible to vote. The districts used for the census were the same as the election districts. A statistical summary of the census follows the enumeration pages. For District 17, the place of election was the house of B. F. Robinson. The boundaries of each district were described in Governor Reeder's proclamation and it is difficult to determine what counties were in each district. The 17th Dist was organized by a supplemental proclamation of the governor, Nov. 25, 1854. He declared that it seemed expedient that the first district should be divided to form the 17th district, which was located in the east part of the present Johnson county, quoted as to bounds as follows, (from the ex minutes, 1854, p. 24.) "beginning at the mouth of the Kansas river; thence up said river to the mouth of Cedar creek; thence up said creek to the Santa Fe Road; thence by said road and the Missouri State Line to the place of beginning."

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James R. Mead to his father

Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836

In this letter, James Mead writes from Tecumseh, Kansas Territory, to his father about his efforts to secure a claim. He includes information about the people of the territory, the beautiful vegetation, and the flourishing towns. Mead also writes of the immense amount of traffic along the Santa Fe Trail and of the roads to Lecompton and Topeka, which he declares are "the best roads I ever saw anywhere." In addition, he describes the buildings of Burlingame, Kansas Territory, and the make up of the community. At the end of the letter, he mentions the new constitution, which "is all Free State." These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.

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Crossing the Plains, the journal of Harriett Bidwell Shaw

Shaw, Harriet Bidwell

Harriett Bidwell Shaw started a journal in September 18,1851, when she and her husband, Reverend James Milton Shaw traveled in a wagon train via the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico. Harriett was the only woman to accompany the wagon train. She documented their daily activities, the weather conditions, hardships on the trail, encounters with Indians, and buffalo hunting. When the Shaws passed through Kansas they stayed at Shawnee Baptist Mission, Council Grove, and Pawnee Rock and stopped near Fort Mackey on the Arkansas river. They reached Santa Fe on November 14, 1851, where the journal ends. The Shaws eventually went to Albuquerque and then Socorro to establish Baptist missions among the Spanish people. In sum, Shaws journal presents a remarkable picture of the difficulties and rewards of travel to the American West prior to the American Civil War.

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